New Britain task force looks to fight blight in city - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Britain task force looks to fight blight in city

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New task force in New Britain looked at the city's blight issue. (WFSB) New task force in New Britain looked at the city's blight issue. (WFSB)
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

A brand-new task force in New Britain took aim at the city's massive blight problem.  

On Monday morning, crews from the building department and the fire marshal went door to door inspecting blighted properties. They also spoke with homeowners and property managers about taking care of buildings that have fallen into disrepair.

"It's pretty terrible to see this," said Scott Steinberg, of New Britain.

Lawlor Street was one of the first stops.

"We want the property owners to comply with our request and maintain their properties and improve the quality of life for the residents of New Britain," said Sergio Lupo, director of the New Britain Building Department.

Mayor Erin Stewart said the goal is to beautify New Britain and this task force is an aggressive step toward doing so.

Notices went up on doors of buildings where squatters have been known to frequent. The buildings have been boarded up, but they've become a dumping ground.

"It think it's time for property owners to take responsibility for their actions and also monitor their properties on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. You just can't show up at the end of the month or beginning of the month and just collect rent," Lupo said.  

The task force was handing out warnings on Monday, but members said they'll be following up again. They'll be at it again on Tuesday and will take CTFastrak to pinpoint other blighted New Britain properties.

"Even though this may be a lot of tenant activity here, the landlord is ultimately responsible for their property," Lupo said.

After going to three houses, Eyewitness News caught up to a property manager who had just cut a deal with the city to have a building cleaned by the end of the day.

The property owner had little to say, but if it's not fixed up, he'll hear back from the city in 10 days.

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